Cal State Dominguez representative speaks on art programs to students


Michael Ares

Art & Design department representative Ellie Zenhari speaking with Cerritos College students about CSUDH’s art programs.

Michael Ares

Art major Carlos Hurtado began his dream of becoming an artist when he was inspired by taking an arts history class at Cerritos College.

“I started out as a psychology major. After I took that art history class, I decided to change my major to art because it allows you to express yourself a whole lot more.”

For Hurtado, working on the business side of arts or becoming a graphic designer are goals that he has set for himself to accomplish in the future.

“I’d like to work for big companies like Disney or Universal Studios, or just any company that would allow me to get my name out there.”

Like Hurtado, there are many other art students who have big dreams on becoming successful in their chosen major.

On Thursday, Nov. 15, Cal State University Dominguez Hills representatives came to Cerritos College with a mission on showing Cerritos College art students the potential pathway to their future success.

CSUDH assistant professor Ellie Zenhari said, “We really try to emphasize creativity in our programs, as well as giving you the technical knowledge to help you achieve your vision.”

Zenhari also added, “We are very concept driven. It’s really not about ‘technique this and technique that’ because so what if you know the techniques? What can you do that is going to make you stand out from the others and show what you’re trying to communicate? Being concept driven is something that really takes us to a very different level.”

According to CSUDH associate professor Michele Bury, If a student takes a portfolio class at CSUDH, the student’s creative vision will be displayed at the senior art show.

“The show is a fabulous accomplishment for our students. They are in charge of the concept of the show and installing their work,” Bury said.

CSUDH art students can expect portfolio reviews from professionals in the same class.

“In the same portfolio class we have a ‘portfolio review day’ where we invite external professionals to come in and meet with our students and observe their work.”

Bury also shared just how flexible the school is for lab hours.

“We want to help the students to succeed. If you have a project to work on, and can only work on it on Saturday or Sunday, then we’ll work it out with the campus police and they can let you in to work on your projects.”

Art and design professor Bonnie Barrett said regarding Cal State Long Beach’s student labs, “I don’t know how many students know this, but Cal State Long Beach has completely cleared their computer labs. All they have now are empty tables. There are no more facilities, or printers. The students are expected to bring all of their own hardware and software. It’s crazy. Transferring to Long Beach and hoping to get out in two years can be a distant dream because of that.”

Bury added, “A lot of students already have their own computers laptops, but a lot of students don’t and rely on the labs.”

When asked about the student success rate when finding jobs, Bury said, “When the recession hit, statistics showed that the average time to get a job was between eight months to a year. While that number is not specific to us, our seniors are definitely finding work. Most are finding jobs in web, but also in print.”

Zenhari believes that the Cal State University Dominguez Hills Art Department makes them stand out the most compared to Cal State University Long Beach and Cal State University Fullerton, “Our department is small, yet it allows for more one on one training and the department becomes more of like a community. Everybody knows and helps each other especially with different art students and classes collaborating with one another.”

For students seeking scholarships CSUDH offers five to 10 Winston Hewitt scholarships a year with a total of $1,000 each.

Bury informed Cerritos College students that CSUDH is in fact not impacted when trying to transfer.

Hurtado said, “I’m applying to Cal State Dominguez Hills right now. I want to go to a place where I know I am going to succeed in my career.”

CSUDH is currently holding a student studio art exhibit which will end on Nov. 28, 2012.